MESOP MIDEAST WATCH: Amnesty slams pro-Israel ‘authoritarian’ bill designed to deny it US federal funding

April 8, 2022

Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard Amnesty International has slammed a bill introduced by two staunch pro-Israeli Republican members of Congress designed to deny federal financial support to the human rights group. Senators Rick Scott and Mike Braun introduced the bill because of what they say is the group’s “anti-Israel agenda.”

“This legislation follows reports that Amnesty International, which has received more than $2.5 million in federal funds over the past two decades, is utilizing its platform as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to foster and disseminate false, anti-Semitic reports attacking Israel, America’s strongest ally in the Middle East,” said the senators in a press release introducing the bill.

“Amnesty International has proven itself to be a sham of a ‘human rights’ organization that perpetuates anti-Semitic propaganda and refuses to hold the world’s dangerous and genocidal regimes accountable, like Communist China, Iran, Russia and Venezuela,” said Scott, insisting that US taxpayer money should not be used to “demonizes our great ally, Israel.”

“Amnesty is no stranger to being targeted for its work,” said the group’s US branch in a statement. “Our calls to action to ensure human rights for all have forced us to close our offices in India and Hong Kong. The Russian government recently blocked access to the internet at our Moscow office,” it continued suggesting that the pro-Israel bill introduced by Scott and Braun is the kind of attack that’s to be expected of authoritarian regimes.

Insisting that it is unphased by the threat, Amnesty said: “If Senator Scott had spoken with some of our 10 million supporters in the US and around the world, he would know that we will not be intimidated by authoritarian tactics.”

Amnesty claimed that the actions of the two Congressmembers represent an attempt to distract from and discredit its research. Refuting Scott and Braun’s allegation that Amnesty is anti-Semitic, the group said that it condemned all forms of hate “in the strongest possible terms.”

Following the release of its report in February in which Amnesty joined other prominent human rights group in labelling Israel an apartheid state, advocates of the occupation state have accused Amnesty of anti-Semitism. Supporters of Amnesty have dismissed the allegation as an attempt to defame the group arguing that it had produced countless reports exposing human rights abuse around the world for years and no one accused Amnesty of racism until it published a report exposing Israel’s crimes against humanity